William R. Amlong

William R. Amlong

Location:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Phone:
954-519-2235
Email:

I got out of newspapering and into law school in 1982. An editor at The Miami Herald questioned my objectivity --- specifically about the Border Patrol's concertina barbed wire around the Krome Refugee Camp, and generally about my reporting from Haiti. I had been part of a generation of journalists who wanted to (and did) effect change, not just report he said/she said. Time to say, I'm outta here.

I stumbled into civil-rights litigation when, as a third-year law student and largely because of my background as a reporter, I got hired as an investigator in a prison-rights class action a case with which I stayed involved as a lawyer for 13 years after getting admitted in 1985.

I started doing employment discrimination work because of referrals that came in to my wife/partner, a former board member of the National Organization for Women and its initial Florida coordinator. No one else in Fort Lauderdale did this type of work.

Virtually overnight, we became the civil rights firm in Fort Lauderdale as much by default as anything else: the economics of the marketplace had created a vacancy in the niche for representing prison inmates and unemployed women.

We now have one of the larger plaintiff's employment law firms in Florida. Our clientele includes construction workers, corporate vice presidents, restaurant servers and physicians. I personally have tried 62 labor-and-employment or civil rights cases, handled numerous state and federal appeals and argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 755 (1998).  A transcript and the audio of the oral argument is on-line at:

http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_282/argument/

My 15 minutes of fame started in 1989 with a speech to a Boca Raton NOW chapter. That is where I met Beth Ann Faragher, a sexually harassed lifeguard whose case I won at trial, lost before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and eventually took to the United States Supreme Court. We won. Because this young woman (and her co-plaintiff, Nancy Ewanchew) had the stuff to literally fight City Hall, employers nationwide now must either have in place effective mechanisms to curb hostile-environment harassment or face damage awards a lot higher than the $1 Ms. Faragher got under the pre-1991 version of Title VII.

One of the most rewarding parts of the case came immediately before I began my argument at the Supreme Court: during that morning's bar admission ceremony, I moved the court to allow Ms. Faragher, by then a Colorado lawyer seated in the audience, to become a member of its bar. Chief Justice William Rehnquist swore her in.

Although I enjoy using the skills I developed as an investigative reporter in business litigation (I recently got a $1.5 million verdict against an aviation consultant who embezzled money he was supposed to be holding in escrow for my client), my wife/partner and I are die-hard 60s lefties who spend most of our energy on representing working men and women against management. I was president of the NELA Florida affiliate in 1996 through 1998, and will retire from NELA's national executive board in 2009 after four three-year terms. I am a former member of the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women, and its only-ever male chair. I also am on the board of Workplace Fairness, a 501 (C)(3) group dedicated to advancing workers' rights.

I am less of an ideologue than a fundamentalist: it is simply morally wrong for employers to cheat workers out of wages, to seek sex from someone who needs a paycheck, or to decide whom to hire, promote or (these days) lay off based on gender, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, color, age or disability status. These wrongs need remedies: our job is to get them for our clients.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.
http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_97_282/argument/.

Karen and I are both AV Peer Review Rated* through Martindale-Hubbell. We have lectured extensively on labor and employment law topics. I have been on the faculty of all five of the intensive trial skills seminars sponsored by the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Florida Bar.

I am the son of salt-of-the-earth, working-class parents, Bill Amlong and Grace McMahon, whose legacy was their values rather than their valuables. I went to Miami-Dade Junior College after graduating from Coral Gables High School in 1963, and attended mostly night classes for two years as I worked as a copy boy and cub reporter at the Herald. I transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studied journalism, became editor of the Daily Tar Heel, and returned to the Herald in 1968. Over the next 14 years, I covered, among other things, local, state and national politics (I met my wife when she was a 27-year-old freshman legislator in 1975) and was nominated by the Herald for the Pulitzer Prize for series I worked on about auto insurance, worker' P business.< biggest Florida'?'s as dealing drug and compensation s>

Areas of Practice

  • 65% Labor & Employment
  • 10% Appeals, State and Federal
  • Civil Rights
  • Business Law
  • Civil Trial Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1988
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1992
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1988
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida Trial Bar

Education

  • Nova University Center for the Study of Law, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • J.D. cum laude - 1985
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • B.A. - 1968
    • Major: Journalism
  • Miami-Dade Jr. College, Miami, Florida

Published Works

  • The Daily Tar Heel, Editor, 1968
  • Faragher v. City of Boca Raton: A Seven-Year Retrospective, 80 Fla. Bar. J., January, 2006

Classes/Seminars

  • Volunteer Faculty, Stetson University/Florida Bar Five-Day Employment Law Trial Skills Workshop, 1996
  • Volunteer Faculty, Stetson University/Florida Bar Five-Day Employment Law Trial Skills Workshop, 1997
  • Volunteer Faculty, Stetson University/Florida Bar Five-Day Employment Law Trial Skills Workshop, 1999
  • Volunteer Faculty, Stetson University/Florida Bar Five-Day Employment Law Trial Skills Workshop, 2001
  • Volunteer Faculty, Stetson University/Florida Bar Five-Day Employment Law Trial Skills Workshop, 2002
  • Volunteer Faculty, Stetson University/Florida Bar Five-Day Employment Law Trial Skills Workshop, 2004
  • Volunteer Faculty, University of Miami/Florida Bar Five-Day Employment Law Trial Skills Workshop, 1994
  • Lecturer, "Florida State Court Discovery & Motion Practice", Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Conference, St. Petersburg, FL, 2006
  • Presenter, "Doing Well by Doing Good: Making Money as Civil Rights Lawyers", Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Spring Conference, Melbourne, FL, 2005
  • Panelist, "What's My Case Worth: How to Negotiate for Maximum Value", National Employment Lawyers Association, Fifteenth Annual Convention, San Antonio, TX, 2004
  • Presenter, "The (Unwritten) Rules of Engagement: How it Really Works in State Courts in Florida", Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers, Spring Conference, Melbourne, FL, 2004
  • Panelist, Round Table Discussion, Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Conference, St. Petersburg, FL, 2003
  • Panelist, Round Table Discussion, Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Spring Conference, Melbourne, FL, 2003
  • Moderator, "Strategies and Techniques for Effective Cross-Examination", National Employment Lawyers, Thirteenth Annual Convention, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 2002
  • Lecturer, Trial Strategies in the Mendoza, Clover Era: Plaintiffs Employment Law as Guerilla Warfare", Georgia Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Negril, Jamaica, 2001
  • Lecturer, "Discovery: Practical Tips and Considerations: A No-Muss, No-Fuss Guide to Getting What You Need -- Even If It Might Not Be Everything You Want", Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Seminar, St. Petersburg, FL, 2001
  • Lecturer, "2000-2001 Good, Bad and Ugly Awards: Employment Discrimination Update", American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida Lawyers Conference, Key West, FL, 2001
  • Presenter, "We Won't Sue You If...", Proskauer Rose Law & the Workplace 2000 Seminar, 2001
  • Lecturer, "How to Recover and Defend Against Attorneys' Fees", Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Seminar, St. Petersburg, FL, 2000
  • Lecturer, "So What Is Sexual Harassment Anyway, and How Do I Keep From Getting Sued?", PAC Industry Fund (Plumbing Contractors), West Palm Beach, FL, 2000
  • Panelist, 21st Annual National Conference on Law and Higher Education, Stetson University, St. Petersburg, FL, 2000
  • Lecturer, "Litigating Sexual Harassment Claims for Love and Money in the Southern District", Florida, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Florida Justice Seminar, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 1999
  • Moderator, "The Closing Argument, National Employment Lawyers Association", Trial Practice for the Employment Lawyer, Seattle, WA, 1999
  • Lecturer, "KISSing (Keeping it Simple, Sweetheart): Sexual Harassment after Faragher v. City of Boca Raton", ABA Tele-COnference: Sexual Harassment in the Public Workplace, 1999
  • Lecturer, "Discovery Abuse: Problems and Solutions", Tactics and Techniques Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Fall Seminar, Clearwater, FL, 1999
  • Panelist, "Crossing the Line: Free Speech vs. Harassment in the Workplace", Anti-Defamation League, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 1998
  • Lecturer, "Using the Courts to Change the Law", Broward Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 1998
  • Lecturer, "Sexual Harassment and Employment Discrimination", Broward County Trial Lawyers, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 1998
  • Lecturer, "Combating Discovery Abuse in Employment Discrimination Cases", Florida Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Annual Meeting, St. Petersburg, FL, 1997
  • Panelist, "Going for the Gold: Damages post Civil Rights Act of 1991", American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, 1996
  • Employment Law Trial Skills Program, Fla. Bar, Labor & Employment Section, 1994 - 2004

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient, Sigma Delta Chi Award for Outstanding Male Senior, 1968
  • Honoree, Broward County National Organization for Women at Women's Equality Luncheon, August, 1993, 1993
  • AV Peer Review Rated through Martindale-Hubbell*
  • Small Firm Practitioner of Merit Award, American Bar Association General Practice, Solo and Small Section, 2004 - 2005
  • Chambers USA, America's Leading Business Lawyers, 2003 - 2004
  • Palm Beach NOW Appreciation Award, 2004
  • Florida NELA President's Award, 1999
  • Florida NOW Glass Ceiling Award, 1998
  • Broward County NOW, Women's Equality Day Award, 1993

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Florida Bar, Labor and Employment Section, Member
  • Broward County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Member, 1994 - Present
  • Broward County Bar Association, Litigation Sections, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Litigation Section, Member
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Member
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Member
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Vice President, Florida Chapter, 1993 - 1995
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, President, 1995 - 1997
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Member, Florida Chapter
  • National Executive Board, Member, 1996 - Present
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Society of Professional Journalists
  • Florida Bar Labor, Employment Law Section, Faculty Member, Employment Law Trial Skills Program, 1995 - 1999
  • Florida Bar Labor, Employment Law Section, Faculty Member, Employment Law Trial Skills Program, 2001
  • Broward County Commission on the Status of Women, Member, 1994 - 2006
  • Broward County Commission on the Status of Women, Chair, 1998 - 1999
  • American Justice Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Broward County Bar Association
  • Florida Bar, Labor and Employment Section, Judicial Education Committee, 2004
  • Broward County Commission on the Status of Women, Chair, 2005

Past Employment Positions

  • The Daily Tar Heel, Editor, 1967 - 1968
  • The Miami Herald, Herald Staff Writer, 1968 - 1982

Fraternities/Sororities

  • Phi Kappa Sigma
  • Sigma Delta Chi